Carrier bag charge boosts social investment charity

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Growth: Nick Kuenssberg and Alastair Davis.

Social Investment Scotland recorded a 13% rise in income last year.

29th August 2016 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A leading provider of responsible finance has recorded a strong year of growth thanks to the charge on carrier bags.

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) had a total unrestricted income of £1.32 million in 2015/16, up 13% from the year before.

Bosses attributed the rise to continued loan book growth and additional management fees generated from an extended partnership with supermarket chain Asda.

This partnership has seen the expansion of Asda Community Capital, the fund set up by SIS to use the charitable funds raised from the single use carrier bag levy. 

With our help, more social enterprises and communities businesses across Scotland are thinking about taking on investment as a means of growth

Using 100% of proceeds, the fund supports a small loans programme and the running of the Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy, which provides opportunities for social enterprises to reach the supermarket shelves.

Over the course of the year, SIS has invested a total of £4.3m in more than 50 organisations throughout Scotland, with £328,000 coming from Asda Community Capital.

Alastair Davis, SIS chief executive, said: “Despite another year of economic volatility, we have seen both a sustained demand for social investment and a growth in supply of investment capital from a range of sources.

“The variation of available funding is enabling SIS to provide customers with a greater range of financial solutions better suited to their requirements which, in turn, is helping them to deliver greater social impacts within their local communities.

“With our help, more social enterprises and communities businesses across Scotland are thinking about taking on investment as a means of growth and achieving long-term sustainability.”

Nick Kuenssberg, the charity’s chairman, said the figures had led to SIS launching a more ambitious strategy for the next four years.  

He added: “Based on a year of major achievements, continually growing investments and financial success, SIS can look forward with confidence to the implementation of this new strategy.

“At its heart is an ambition to extend the remit of SIS to include hybrid models of social enterprise incorporating both financial and social objectives, stimulating the creation and growth of social enterprise and working with and supporting young social entrepreneurs.”